Monday, 30th October 2017

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Christian Michel winks and smiles at CBI investigators

'I do not know' was Michel’s standard reply to most questions

By Imran Ahmed Siddiqui in New Delhi
  • Published 7.12.18, 4:11 AM
  • Updated 7.12.18, 8:21 AM
  • a min read
Christian Michel leaves the Patiala House court in New Delhi on Wednesday Picture by Prem Singh

British middleman Christian Michel, extradited from Dubai in connection with the AgustaWestland chopper deal, smiled and winked in response to some questions posed by CBI investigators as he continued to stonewall queries on Thursday, sources in the agency said.

“I do not know” was Michel’s standard reply to most questions. “We interrogated him for 11 hours, including five hours without any break, since 7am today, but he remained defiant and was evasive. At times he smiled and even winked without responding to questions,” a CBI officer said.

“Even after such a marathon interrogation he appeared to be calm and composed. Instead, we looked exhausted after the questioning,” the officer said.

The British high commission on Thursday sought consular access to Michel.

“We have received a consular access request for Michel from the British high commission…. The agency has no issue in providing access,” CBI spokesperson Abhishek Dayal said.

A CBI officer said: “In its letter to the Centre the commission said it supports the family of the British national following his detention in the UAE. They (the commission staff) are in contact with his family and are urgently seeking information from the Indian authorities on his circumstances.”

The UK authorities have said they would provide all assistance to Michel.

A CBI officer said Michel was a key player in the bribery scandal. “He is important for us to establish the money trail that would help us arrest other beneficiaries of the alleged kickbacks.”

Sources said CBI sleuths would soon confront Michel with his driver who used to ferry him during his visits to India, Narayan Bahadur.

The sources said Narayan used to pick Michel up from his hotel in central Delhi and took him to his Indian and foreign contacts in Lutyens Delhi and other parts of the capital. The driver also used to deliver parcels for Michel.

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